Feb 2, 2010 at 2:08 pm #1254775
Companion forum thread to:Feb 2, 2010 at 3:29 pm #1569000
It would be helpful if you labeled the output vs. time chart with which battery is which line, rather than just "column 1, column 2, etc."Feb 2, 2010 at 3:44 pm #1569010
It looks as though the link above is to the draft article.
The graph has been fixed in the final. Let's see if I can link to it here (coding NOT a personal talent):
[Later that same minute.]
Okay, that didn't work. I don't know what's going on but rest assured there's a correct version that we need to resurrect. Sorry for the confusion!
In the meantime, here are the settings for your decoder ring:
B: XP2 Alkaline
C: XP2 Lithium
D: XP2 NiMH
F: Plus2 Alkaline
G: Plus2 NiMHFeb 2, 2010 at 4:16 pm #1569024
@adrianbLocale: Auckland, New Zealand
Still not waterproof: fail (IPX4 is listed under 'good'?!). Still not regulated: fail.Feb 2, 2010 at 5:07 pm #1569051
Outstanding review! I especially like the spot images which give a good comparison.
The plot looks a little suspicious; are the Plus2 NiMH and alkaline curves perhaps swapped? I would have expected the alkaline curve to fall off slowly for both units, rather than the 'plateau + drop-off' of the NiMH's.Feb 2, 2010 at 6:57 pm #1569114
Thanks Daniel, and good eye!
Yes, I mixed the last two items and have sent a corrected graphic to my friendly fixer-upper for replacement. In the meantime I've corrected the decoder ring list above to reflect the correct legend sequence.
My apologies for the mixup!
RickFeb 2, 2010 at 7:11 pm #1569123
@johnbrown2005Locale: Portland, OR
Thanks for the review. I tried the XP2 and found the light spilling from the housing distracting, and I don't wear glasses. Also couldn't believe there's no gasket around batteries.
The new EOS with a Rebel LED has a more useful beampattern than the old EOS, and the Rebel LED does better at color rendition, to my eyes. So I've gone that way, even though I'd love to have the red, and the diffuser of the XP2.
My 2 cents…Feb 2, 2010 at 7:16 pm #1569127
Very nice job on this article. I love the graph you have in there. Who would have thought I would enjoy reading about headlamps so much. :)Feb 2, 2010 at 10:12 pm #1569181
ARGH. That graph gave me fits (not Rick's fault – I didn't realize it until too late). A fresh one that's all spiffed up (thanks Rick!) is now locked and loaded. Thanks all, and sorry about that!
AddieFeb 3, 2010 at 1:56 am #1569198
@oystersLocale: South Australia
Good job Rick.
Flashy mode: there are other uses for it. When cycle commuting or touring at night, I wear a headtorch in flash mode. Its great for directing flashes exactly where you want them to make sure motorists don't squish you. The side clear windows would help in motorists from seeing cyclists from the side-always a good thing.
I reckon this might be my next headtorch for cycling-my mammut one is crap (flash mode is in S-O-S format, so useless) and my Myo XP Belt is just overkill and I'm sick of the cord. With the new LEDs I'm guessing this is probably just as bright as that anyway :)
Red will be good for stealth camping :)
AdamFeb 3, 2010 at 2:10 am #1569201
@al_t-tudeLocale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
I used my XP extensively for climbing, trail running and camping for close to 2 years and was very pleased with it's performance and features.
I've now used the new XP2 similarly for 6 months and find it to be an improvement in most every way over the already excellent performance of the earlier model.
I do agree with some of the deficiencies listed in the article: lack of battery case sealing and beam intensity memory. The article also alludes to the inability to angle upwards. This can be occasionally annoying in camp, but on the trail, it's a major weakness compared to the XP.
When walking and especially when running, it is essential for speed and safety to get the lamp away from one's eyes (off the head) so that the beam can shine from a different angle than the viewing angle of the eyes. This allows the eyes to see shadows created by anywhere from minute to large terrain features. Hand holding the light at hip level works only if hands are not otherwise occupied (carrying poles or bracing falls).
The Petzl ADAPT system allowes my XP to easily clip to my waist to hike/run hands free. Unfortunately, the XP2 does not point high enough to be of use in this mode and must be hand carried. Turning upside down does not solve the problem.
I have sent notes and drawings to Petzl's U.S. Headlamp Manager with no response yet. I did do the same in response to lithium battery incompatiblity with my Tikka Plus and they addressed that problem, so maybe they will take this deficiency seriously also.Feb 3, 2010 at 4:34 am #1569213
This past Thanksgiving (at the last minute) my wife let me skip out on family activities (actually she used me to skip out), so I planned a 48 hour trip to a local trail. Given the reduced day-light, I knew I'd need to do some night hiking. I checked my old pile of headlamps to discover that my old Princeton Tec Aurora (?) was dead as the alkaline batteries had leaked and corroded the inside. So, I drove to the local outfitter and bought a Plus 2 at the last minute.
Wow, what a headlamp. It had great range and brightness such that in the "full white" mode that I could easily see 50'+. And the red mode was great around camp. The "dim white mode" was plenty for reading and camp work (though I didn't use it much for the later).
For a last minute buy, I got real lucky. For my needs, the Plus 2 is slightly overkill (I think I could get by with less light than its full white mode). If the Plus 2 is "Average" I can't imagine how good the XP2 must be for those that need such a bright light.Feb 3, 2010 at 5:17 am #1569219
Those lux figures look way too high – if you were using a generalised light meter, perhaps it was lumens you were measuring, not lux? (lux being not the total amount of light being put out but it's intensity on a 1 metre square area). As an example, with 4 Cree LEDs my (very, very bright) AyUp bike lights put out about 600 lumens and about 50 lux.
That said, in any case Petzl only quote 60 lumens maximum for the XP2 and don't quote lux.Feb 3, 2010 at 7:54 am #1569259
I'm glad to read Al Shaver's comments because the angle issue was going to be my first first question.
I have been using the XP since 2007. It was the best at the time in addressing the concerns of a long-distance hiker: lightweight, adequately bright, battery efficient. There may be a better light out there now but I've been so pleased with the XP's performance that I haven't felt the need to upgrade.
Like Al, my XP spends more time around my waist than on my head. I rethreaded the XP with a belt of 1" static webbing so I can put it around my waist. This improves my visibility TREMENDOUSLY because the light casts shadows and I suddenly have depth perception. I have tried doing this with friends' regular Tikka's to help them out but the angle of the light is pointed down too far and it can't get level.
Until Petzl fixes this angle issue in a XP3, or if I come across a better light, I'll be sticking with my XP.Feb 3, 2010 at 9:18 am #1569301
Thanks for your comments DW. To verify, my measurements are taken using a meter that reads out in either lux or footcandles. I measure from two feet and am careful to read the beam's brightest point (which can be tricky, depending on the beam characteristics, despite the dome diffuser on the meter). If I increased the distance to, say, four feet the reading would drop by a factor of four because of the inverse square law, so that's perhaps where the confusion on the reported value stems from.
For consistency among our published tests I've used the same meter for each flashlight article done for BPL, and inherited both the light meter and the two-foot measurement distance from the reviews done by others before me. I don't have a light source "standard" to verify the meter between tests but it does allow me to zero it. I'm confident the BPL test results can be compared to one another, with the caveat that battery variability cannot be ruled out.
Flashlight makers seem to primarily rate their products in lumens but I don't have the rather specialized equipment required to test that parameter. If they reported lux they'd have to use a standard measurment distance to enable comparison among brands, and that's unlikely. What we, the consumer can do is use the given lumen values to compare models within a brand's line, but I'd be leery about comparing the value among brands. That would be akin to comparing sleeping temperature ratings across brands (territory over which I fear to travel).
RickFeb 3, 2010 at 9:30 am #1569305
Thanks for your comments Al. It's very helpful to get a perspective from the trail-running community. I limit myself to representing the trail-stumbling community.
You note inverting the light doesn't help. Does it aim too high when inverted at waist level?
RickFeb 3, 2010 at 11:55 am #1569365
@jkrew81Locale: White Mtns
Jon Witt SPOT ON. I found all the same with the Tikka2. Not to mention the battery died pretty fast on me. After 2 weeks of trail running the beam was down to nothing. I will be sticking with my Princeton Tec EOS R and Quad as they tend to last me at least a month with perfectly useable lighting for night time running.Feb 3, 2010 at 1:24 pm #1569409
The are several threads on candlepower forums on upgrading the LED in the old Tikka XP and Myo XP. They claim a significant increase in light output — the newer LEDs and better bins of LEDs are more efficient. I haven't tried these yet, but they are claimed to be easy mods.Feb 3, 2010 at 1:51 pm #1569419
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
The people who really understand this subject are the ultramarathon runners. These races are typically either 50 miles or 100 miles. The 50-mile race can be done during daylight hours, but the 100-mile race typically gets into some night running (except for the awesome winners). In the old days >20 years ago, they had to use incandescent headlamps with ordinary batteries, but the incandescent bulbs would break or burn out, and they were just kind of a pain with lots of battery changes. Decent LED headlamps were almost unheard of at that time, so enterprising runners fabricated their own fluorescent lights into a waist-lamp. Typically, it was a six inch tube across the front, and a stack of batteries on the back of the belt. That was good for two reasons. First, it put the light down low where it would raise some good shadows on the trail. Secondly, it was wide enough to light up a lot of trail width. You really knew when those guys were coming along! Then about 15 years ago, the good LED headlamps came along. Most of the early ones required 3 AA cells in order to drive the typical LED devices of the day. Later on, charge pumps changed all of that so that in some cases a single cell or pair of cells will drive the LED. Still, most LEDs emit a very narrow spectrum of light, so things don't always look the same color as they would with natural sunlight. That may or may not be a problem.
–B.G.–Feb 3, 2010 at 4:34 pm #1569487
@herman666Locale: Northern Virginia
I'd like to have a diffuser, but the price differential between the xp2 and what I can get a current regulated EOS for is just too much.Feb 3, 2010 at 10:36 pm #1569662
I second Mr. Skurka's advice to put it around your waist while hiking. I'm not sure what ultrarunners do, but a headlamp, while great for placing pro while climbing, camp chores, reading a book, etc, is not that great for walking over rough ground, as its location close to the eyes eliminates shadows, hence any sense of depth. Around the waist (or a non-headlamp simply held in the hand) is miles better for walking. The same goes for bike lights; the lower they're mounted the easier it is to read the road. French randonneur frames have light mounts low on the front fork. A headlamp will work of course, but try the waist-mount and you'll agree its better.Feb 4, 2010 at 8:53 am #1569732
@johnbrown2005Locale: Portland, OR
Just occurred to me that one could put or glue electricians tape over the clear plastic and fix the glare problem. Or paint it.Feb 4, 2010 at 1:24 pm #1569811
@tfkaltenLocale: Upstate NY
Yes, at US$50 – $55 it's pretty expensive. One way to solve that is to add a diffuser to your EOS instead — there's a nice homemade diffuser described at Jim Wood's website. I made one and it works well, and weighs next to nothing. It's been surprisingly durable too. I think I might like the red LED option, though…
TomFeb 4, 2010 at 4:10 pm #1569864
Uh, what's regulation mean in this context?Feb 4, 2010 at 4:43 pm #1569879
Regulation – a battery conservation approach accomplished by electronically switching the light on and off faster than the eye can detect. This, in conjunction of limiting the current flow, result is a much 'flatter' output and can greatly extend the runtime.
ps: i ain't no enginer.
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